July 14, 2022

The Park Center for Independent Media circulates the Indy Brief. Subscribe for a weekly selection of news stories from journalists operating outside traditional corporate systems.

The Edge
The Failures of Post-Roe Mainstream Media

Mainstream media have failed the public in their coverage of the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade, according to Patricia Zimmermann and Noreen Sugrue. Outlets describe the new post-Roe U.S. as a binary of pro-abortion and anti-abortion.

Referring to the pro-choice position as pro-abortion shapes a narrative that misrepresents the commitments, values, desires, and politics of pro-choice advocates. It also fails to underscore one of the most important points: In denying women control over their bodies and reproductive choices, abortions are not stopped. They are rendered harder to secure and encourage illegal and unsafe procedures.

Coverage has further failed to examine the collateral damage of Roe’s overturn beyond pregnant women; to men, partners, people who retain access to abortion, and more.

Read Zimmermann and Sugrue’s full commentary on The Edge.

Also see Zimmermann’s melodic personal account on abortion, war protest, and the death of a friend.

Lovers, Baby: Reading the Landscape in Virginia

After five years away from the U.S., filmmaker and writer Alia Yunis landed in Virginia the day Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“During my childhood, the only association I had with Virginia was cigarettes, as in Virginia Slims, a brand that promoted smoking as a form of glamorous liberation for women long after we knew cigarettes were deadly.” Yunis says. Its slogan was “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

As the Roe news played on airport screens, “all I could see in my head were those Virginia Slim ads, which likely profited from what Roe v. Wade said about women owning their own bodies to do as they saw fit — whether that meant reproductive rights or smoking. So have we come a long way, baby?”

Read more from Yunis on The Edge.

What to Do? Post-Roe Abortion Syllabus 2.0

Gathering resources following Roe’s overruling, Zillah Eisenstein provides abundant perspectives and organizations to answer questions.

“Abortion activism is already in practice because Roe was never enough and the restrictions put on Roe over the past 50 years have been enormous,” Eisenstein writes.

“There have been fewer clinics, more regulation, and more expense, even before Roe was overruled. Given this limited access to abortion, especially for poor women of all colors, there is already a support network to assist women who need abortions.”

Read Eisenstein’s syllabus on The Edge.

Izzy Stone’s Public Service Legacy Lives in Independent Journalists

In 2020, the hedge fund Alden Global Capital began dissecting Tribune Publishing, owner of the Chicago Tribune, a paper “thick in the weave of American democracy” when David Jackson joined it decades earlier. His quest to find a civic-minded owner for newsrooms like his was mirrored across the U.S., and failed as the hedge fund succeeded in enriching itself.

Jackson, who joined nonprofit Chicago newsroom Better Government Association as senior investigative reporter in 2020, also recalls the legacy of dissident journalist I.F. Stone, whose self-published work held the U.S. government accountable. “I.F. Stone’s life is a reminder that all reporters must rise to the urgent needs of their day, and none of us can expect once-bright media beacons to guide our steps.”

Jackson won an Izzy Award this year for public accountability reporting in Chicago, and spoke on Izzy’s legacy during the ceremony.

Read Jackson’s full remarks on The Edge.

In Other News

1. Mass shooters crave notoriety. Here’s how media plays a major role in that | The Independent

2. The BA.5 Wave Is What COVID Normal Looks Like | The Atlantic

3. GOP Sen. James Lankford Blocks Bill Protecting Right To Interstate Travel For Abortion | HuffPost

4. Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns after fleeing Sri Lanka | BBC

5. Why is US inflation so high – and how long will it last?| The Guardian

Read previous Briefs and more from independent media on the PCIM website and The Edge, and follow PCIM on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.